The events of 2020 have made it abundantly clear - the effects of climate change and environmental destruction cannot be separated from the systemic social injustices and inequalities that are present in our world. The increasing global prevalence of natural disasters such as wildfires and extreme weather events have battered low-income countries and the most underprivileged communities, many of which have also felt disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) outline the clear links between environment, justice, and equity in the fight for a sustainable future. As a leader in the global environmental social governance (ESG) space, and as a mission-driven non-profit with a huge platform reaching the world’s most powerful businesses, investors and policymakers, CDP has a responsibility to uphold principles of social justice as part of its work.
At this critical juncture in history, CDP is committed to sharing its platform, to make heard those voices and perspectives that have traditionally been excluded or marginalized in the environment and sustainability sphere.
The CDP Accredited Solutions Provider (ASP) program is committed to supporting minority and woman owned businesses (MWBEs) while connecting disclosing companies with cutting-edge services to further their sustainability journeys. The CDP Partnerships team will work to do its part in mitigating systemic barriers faced by many MWBEs in the environmental, energy, and sustainability sectors by providing equal access to the ASP program and CDP's network of companies, cities, investors and policymakers.
By taking active steps to design partnerships and procurement strategies around social equity, environmental organizations can support and strengthen a more diverse and thriving ecosystem of actors working to prevent irreversible climate change and environmental damage.
The Diversity and Equity Initiative is an evolving venture launched by the CDP Partnerships team. It aims to leverage CDP’s platform and resources to make the ASP program more accessible to a diverse network of providers, and to shine a light on the work that these providers are doing for the sector.
The CDP ASP program seeks to identify and partner with diverse partners, and will offer increased support
, and benefits for MWBEs in an effort to account for historic issues of accessibility for certain social groups. Lack of access to capital, and markets dominated by large, well-established players can create challenges with visibility and networking for MWBEs, further exacerbating inequality.
In the US, on average minority businesses are less likely to receive loans, pay higher interest rates on business loans, receive smaller equity investments, and have lower wealth levels in entrepreneurs, among other issues related to reduced capital-access.
The Diversity and Equity Initiative will begin with the following elements:
- Sliding-scale fee with significant discounts and flexible payments available for minority- and women-owned businesses and enterprises.
- Enhanced benefits including visibility and content collaboration opportunities.
Improving diversity, equality and inclusion presents a huge opportunity for environmental action. Many inspirational and innovative organizations working to combat climate change and environmental degradation lack sufficient resources or networks to gain the visibility they deserve amongst their target audiences.By working with more diverse organizations, CDP's network will benefit from new and enhanced perspectives, approaches and ideas in our journey to build a truly sustainable economy.
If you are a minority or women owned business with an environmental product or service which could benefit CDP’s network of over 9,600 companies, please get in touch with us at [email protected] to learn more.
We are keen to hear from you on how we can continue to develop this initiative. To share your thoughts with us, you can contact [email protected]